The Dogma Days of Summer

The Dogma Days of Summer

The Dogma Days of Summer

September 29, 2020

Becoming a Supreme Court justice used to be an attorney's dream. It's getting there, Brett Kavanaugh will tell you, that's a nightmare. "I have no illusions that the road ahead of me will be easy," Amy Coney Barrett acknowledged at her Rose Garden nomination ceremony on Saturday. And she should know -- it's the same road where she collided with Senate Democrats over her Seventh Circuit appointment three years ago. But even then, with the worst the Left had to throw at her, the Scalia protégé proved one thing: moms of seven don't scare easily.

It's a hot seat Coney Barrett's sat in before. Who could forget Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) meme-worthy attack on Amy's Catholic beliefs in 2017? Her infamous charge about the "dogma" living "loudly" in Barrett was such a horrible misfire that it became an instant rallying cry (and t-shirt line) for Christians. Now, just three short years later, the popular Notre Dame professor is back in the Senate's viper pit -- with a second chance for Democrats to act like adults.

But how much discipline will Senate liberals actually have? In the days leading up to the first Judiciary Committee hearing, Democrats are saying all the right things. "We're not going down that road again," one unnamed senator insisted to the Hill newspaper about avoiding what he called a "Kavanaugh 2.0." "People know what happened to [Senator] Joe Donnelly, they know what happened to [Senator] Claire McCaskill and they know what happened to [Senator] Heidi Heitkamp." The public crucifixion of Kavanaugh in 2018 cost the Democrats three seats, a painful lesson they don't want to repeat this time around -- especially not when the nominee is a woman, a mother of a special needs child, and an eminently qualified judge.

Unfortunately for Democrats, there are still some on the far-Left like Feinstein and others who think everything is fair game. "[They've] created an environment," Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) told me Monday on "Washington Watch," "in which their supporters, liberal activists, and Democratic strategists feel free to attack Judge Barrett for adopting two Haitian children." It's "vile," he insisted. "There's nothing to which Democrats won't stoop." Because as far as they're concerned, there's nothing more dangerous than a nominee who utters these six words: "I love the United States Constitution."

This is a party, after all, whose make-believe world rests entirely on the foundation of activist courts -- not the Constitution and certainly not natural law. Without an army of black-robed policymakers, liberals wouldn't have abortion-on-demand, redefined genders, or same-sex marriage. As even Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) admitted, the only way their unpopular agenda succeeds is by packing the bench with wannabe legislators who will impose the radicalism they can't pass democratically. The last thing they want to hear is that the deciding justice on a divided court loves the document they want to run through the paper shredder.

That's why the Left opposes her. Not because she's been nominated in an election year, or because there isn't enough time to vet her. As Senator Cotton pointed out, she's already been vetted! "We just confirmed Amy Coney Barrett less than three years ago... so there's already been a background check. We've all done our work...There is more than enough time to have a careful, deliberative process that doesn't cut corners or skip any steps." The Senate confirmed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 42 days. Justice Sandra O'Connor in 33. What's different now? Certainly not the process -- it didn't change. But the power and significance of the court did.

At some point in the last half-century, elected officials decided they wanted to keep their jobs more than they wanted to do their jobs. They've avoided the responsibility of debating tough issues, so much so that the courts have become, as Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.) calls it, "a substitute political battleground." "They look to nine justices to be super-legislators, to right the wrongs from other places in the process." Until Americans can find more judges who will apply the laws -- and more leaders with the courage to write them -- every confirmation will be a mud-slinging, vitriolic mess.

One way or another, the Left will come after Barrett -- whether it's over her faith, her views on Obamacare and abortion, or just their general contempt for the rule of law she represents. They'll refuse to meet with her, threaten to slow down the process, and even boycott the hearings. Because they know as well as Senator Cotton does, if Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed -- and a plurality of voters want her to be -- "this will be the best court from a constitutional perspective in modern times, perhaps ever."

What can you do to guarantee it? Contact your senators and tell them to fill that seat with Amy Coney Barrett!

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

The Long Arm of the Chinese Communist Party

September 29, 2020

When Pastor Bob Fu left town to speak at a prayer event in Washington D.C. last weekend, protestors took the opportunity to intimidate his wife and kids. The incident shook the family, and it is a reminder that those who speak out against China's human rights violations do so at significant cost to themselves.

The incident followed multiple threats by a Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, also known as Miles Kwok. He has recently used his large Chinese-language social media following to incite and encourage violence against leading critics against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including human rights activists. Prominent on Guo's hit list in Bob Fu, an influential advocate for religious freedom in China.

In videos posted online, Guo openly called for his followers to physically attack Fu, who he calls a "fake pastor." So, it was not a total surprise when several individuals showed up outside of Fu's home to intimidate his family. The family is now being protected by law enforcement.

Bob Fu has a long history of defending human rights in China. He was a student leader in the Tiananmen Square protests. Later, he went on to pastor a house church in China, for which he and his wife, Heidi, each spent two months in prison. In 1997, they were exiled to the United States. Bob founded ChinaAid in 2002 to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China. Today, he also serves as a Senior Fellow for International Religious Freedom at Family Research Council.

Bob Fu has clearly gotten under someone's skin--he, and other human rights advocates like him, are no stranger to intimidation, most often from the Chinese government. Even fleeing to America does not always protect you from the wrath of the CCP.

In 2018, Uyghur-American Rushan Abbas spoke on a panel at a Hudson Institute event on human rights in China. Just days after the event, Rushan's sister and aunt who still lived in Xinjiang, China were "disappeared" by the Chinese government. Her aunt was soon released, but more than two years later, the Chinese government still refuse to provide any information about the whereabouts or well-being of Rushan's sister.

The arm of the Chinese Communist Party is long. Chinese Americans who speak out against the oppression of the CCP do so not to become famous, but to promote a better existence for those who remain in China.

Speaking out against the world's most powerful authoritarian regime often comes at a cost. When people are threatened and harassed simply for promoting human rights, we must stand with them and defend them.

Meanwhile, concern is growing over Chinese infiltration into the United States. For years, Confucius Institutes funded by the Chinese government on American college campuses have been known to play a role in China's overseas propaganda initiative. More concerning is the fact that the Chinese government has been caught lobbying local governments in America to pass their preferred resolutions, at times successfully. Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the Chinese consulate in New York City is a hub for Chinese espionage.

It is a dire national security concern that the Chinese government is working to infiltrate the United States. In addition to endangering the American way of life, it will make their effort to suppress Chinese dissidents, and anyone else who might stand in their way, much easier.

Ultimately, threats of violence posed to Chinese human rights activists are cowardly and immoral regardless of who makes them. They ought to be strongly opposed wherever they arise. Family Research Council stands in support of Bob Fu, and defenders of human rights everywhere fighting for a better future for the Chinese people.

All Things SCOTUS! September 30, 8:00pm (ET)

September 29, 2020

If you loved VVS, don't miss PVS--our Pray, Vote, Stand weekly broadcasts. Every Wednesday from now until the election, FRC is focusing on one issue a week that Christians need to think critically about before casting their ballot--and September 30's topic is the courts. Tune in from 8:00-8:30 p.m. (ET) to catch our featured interview on the confirmation process, a segment on key tools and resources, interactive opportunities, viewer Q&A, and, most importantly--prayer!

Speaking of audience participation, we want to hear from you! What questions on the U.S. Supreme Court or the confirmation process would you like to see answered in the program? Send us your questions (in the form of a question, please!) to Tell us your name and where you're from, and we'll attempt to cover a handful during the broadcast.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.